Encouraging and even introducing a fungus to your Garden sounds somewhat counter productive, even oxymoronish. Considering that in the lexicon of the average gardener fungus and fungi are words that evoke visions of dead and dying plants and decaying produce.
However in the ying and the yang of nature, there is a flip side to fungus. Beneficial Fungus – Mycorrhizal fungi, if you want to get technical Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza. In nature fungi have developed a symbiosis with living plants, a mutually beneficial relationship that can be harnessed by the gardener for the end goal of Consistent higher quality yields of fruits and vegetables at diminished intervals.
Benefits of Mycorrhiza
- Enhanced Nutrients Absorption.
- Increased drought resistance.
- Increased pathogen resistance.
- Enhanced plant health and vigor.
Mychorizae penetrate the root systems of most plants in nature. They are helpful in providing improved uptake of water and nutrients. They help protect the roots from harmful pathogens and disease, and help to reduce the effects of Salt Build Up on plants.
Mychorizal Fungi cause the plants small hairlike feeder roots to branch out and thereby increase the nutrient absorption capacity of the root tips. Mycorrhizal fungi also cause the cell walls near the root cortex to thicken, making it difficult for pathogens to penetrate.
Introducing Mychorizae to Your Garden
Sprinkle Mycorrhizal inoculant directly on the roots of transplants or in with seedlings when they are planted.
Mycorrhizae, once present in a plant will produce ‘hyphae’, which are far reaching filaments that branch out into the soil hundreds of times farther than the roots they have colonized. The Mycorrhiza hyphae fillaments basically act as an extension of the plants root system, water and nutrients previously inaccessible to the plant is now available. The Mycorrhizaes presence also enhances the plants own root development. The plants reciprocate for this benefit by supplying glucose and nutrients to the beneficial fungus.
Optimal Conditions for Mycorrhizal fungi
One critical issue that presents itself when using beneficial fungus in the garden is that the activities of the gardener, yes you, is frequently detrimental to the fungi.
Tilling, hoeing, weeding, harvesting and so forth frequently rips apart the network of subterranean fibers created by the Mycorrhizal fungus.
Mycorrhizal fungus thrives in soils that are high in organic matter. They do poorly in soils that are loaded with chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Well rotted Compost and organic mulch will encourage the establishment and growth of the Mycorrhiza fungi colonies.
Working organic matter into the soil by digging it in will harm and even destroy the fungal net. Try laying the compost on the soil surface, like a mulch, and allowing it to naturally decay into the soil.